- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 6, 2017

Authorities fear a Maryland man may have sexually pursued underage girls at comic-book conventions around the country prior to being apprehended in Utah this week in connection with crimes involving a Virginia teenager.

Derrick Jones, 35, was recently arrested and charged with two counts of illegal use of a communication system to solicit a minor with lascivious intent, law enforcement announced Tuesday.

While police have so far charged Mr. Jones in connection with only a single victim — an unidentified teenage girl from Loudoun County, Virginia —authorities indicated further charges may be on the horizon.

“It is believed that Jones uses social media and has made contact with juvenile females at multi-genre entertainment/comic book conventions,” the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.

According to law enforcement, the accused has introduced himself under various alias including “Kanovski Zan-Lee Vulgen,” “Kano” and “Lee,” all the while claiming to being a teenager or in his early 20s.

“He portrays himself as just having graduated high school a couple of years before,” Loudoun County Sheriff Mike Chapman told WUSA-TV. “Then what he does, is he gets ahold of people by way of Instagram, and he befriends them, based on a background of comic book knowledge.”

The Catonsville, Md. native landed on authorities’ radar in March after a relative of the Virginia teen told law enforcement that an underage member of their family was sexually involved with someone believed to be much older. Investigators later identified the individual as Mr. Jones and determined he had arranged for the teen to travel from Ashurn, Va. to meet him in Baltimore — one of a handful of cities he’s visited in recent weeks, according to investigators.

“Since March 2017, Jones has been in the area of Orlando, FL, Albuquerque, NM, Flagstaff and Phoenix, AZ, Los Angeles and Sacramento, CA, and Salt Lake City, UT,” the statement said.

Authorities are encouraging individuals with information concerning Mr. Jones to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

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